Riccardo Rally-Inspired Automatic Chronograph Watch
The Riccardo is the first watch from Lew & Huey Watches. It is an affordable and handsome automatic chronograph with serious specs.
No more pledges to this project, please. This project has been re-done, and is pending approval, but you can preview it here - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lewandhuey/1676505456?token=e52f069c
How it started - When my watch stopped in September of 2012, it made me angry because it was only a year old, and batteries should last longer. I decided I was done with quartz watches and their batteries, and from then on I would only buy mechanical watches, preferably automatics (self-winding). I always liked the sporty looks of chronographs (watches with a stop-watch function) and I thought, "how much does a decent automatic chronograph cost?"
Researching on the internet, I stumbled on a number of online watch forums, where people repeatedly asked, "why aren't there any affordable automatic chronographs?" It turns out most automatic chronographs cost well over $600, and many are more than $1000. What few there were below $600 tended to be of poor quality - cheap materials and low water resistance with ugly designs.
So I decided to make my own attractive, reliable and affordable automatic chronograph. I found a robust and reliable column-wheel movement, an evolution of the legendary Venus 175, which traces its heritage to Switzerland in the 1950's.
I also spent a lot of time on the watch forums learning what made for a good watch that would appeal to enthusiasts as well as the casual collector, and what the market pricing for a watch like this ought to be.
The Riccardo is a watch that makes no apologies, and compares quite well against watches that sell for much more. There are very few, if any automatic chronographs in its price range (regular retail = $650) that can meet its specs. With its racing-inspired styling, it takes its styling cues from classic designs like the Rolex Daytona and Tag Heuer Carerra.
The brand "Lew & Huey" is a phonetic spin on the Chinese Mandarin phrase 'luen huey' (輪迴), which means reincarnation or rebirth. We believe in second chances, and that every dog will have his day (hence, the dog in our logo).
316L Stainless Steel Case with 100 meter Water Resistance
Domed Anti-Reflective Sapphire Glass Display
Transparent Sapphire and Stainless Steel Caseback
Brown or Black Leather Strap with contrasting color stitches
Signed Crown and Deployant Clasp
42mm Case Diameter, 48.5mm Lug-to-Lug, 20mm Strap Width
Ergonomic Pushers, Superluminova hands and markers, Sunburst Dial
1 Year manufacturer's warranty.
Where are now - We're right on our previously published schedule:
April 8th - We released design renderings on Watchuseek.com, and received rave reviews from watch enthusiasts. Several other online watch forums have since picked up the story and published the renders and pics.
April 22nd - We launched www.LewAndHuey.com and began pre-orders for the Riccardo. As of June 5th we've sold almost 60 watches through pre-orders, with another 15 committed as pledge rewards. So far the brand has only been promoted on the watch forums, Facebook and other social media sites.
June 3rd - We received the two completed prototypes. There are a few little tweaks we want to make before going to full production in 2-3 weeks, but overall we're very happy with the quality, and the response from watch enthusiasts and others who've seen them has continued to be fantastic. We are committed to a 200 piece production run, with 150 Blue/Red and 50 Black/Orange.
June 6th - Positive review of the watch and this project posted on Worn & Wound - http://wornandwound.com/2013/06/06/the-lew-huey-riccardo-needs-a-kickstart/
September 2013 - Targeting delivery to customers.
Most of the funds for production will come from the pre-orders. The remainder will come from owner's equity. Once we're done production we will expand distribution to other ecommerce sites, most likely starting with ebay.
What's next - we want to scale up production, and launch new models. The Chronograph will be the "halo" model that helps launch the brand and represents the top of our retail price range. We are planning more models in the $250-$450 price range. We also want to enter the mass market through ecommerce sites like ebay and Amazon, as well as specialty ecommerce sites that cater to watch enthusiasts or focus on watch sales.
$40 Pledges Reward - Pre-shrunk 100% Cotton "Official Backer" Tee:
Risks and challenges
We're very happy with the finished design and the response it's received. However, the response has been from watch enthusiasts. It's possible the design will not be as well received by the mass market.
Once we complete production, there's a small risk that the finished product will not be as high-quality as the pre-production prototypes.
As with any complex product, there is the risk of mechanical defect, as well as the normal manufacturing risks of production delays or difficulty sourcing materials and components.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)